Discussion: Comparing and Contrasting Pharmacologic Options for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is marked by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events for no obvious reason. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school (Casarella, 2021). GAD is a relatively common disorder that affects about 3 percent of the U.S. population. Sometimes people with this condition just worry, but they are unable to say what they are worried about. They report feelings that something bad may happen or that they just can’t calm themselves (Carey, 2021).
The two main treatments for generalized anxiety disorder are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you (Mayo Clinic, 2017). A patient may benefit most from a combination of the two treatment
options but it may take several trials and errors to determine the most suitable one (Robichaud et al., 2019). Psychotherapy is a popular form of treatment for GAD. “Talk therapy” can be performed by a variety of mental health professionals, and though the approaches described below can overlap, they are guided by differing theories and emphases (Glasofer, 2021).
On the other hand, there is the medication; antidepressants, including medications in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) classes, are the first line medication treatments. Examples of antidepressants used to treat generalized anxiety disorder include escitalopram (Lexapro), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva). Your doctor also may recommend other antidepressants. Buspirone, an anti-anxiety medication called buspirone may be used on an ongoing basis. As with most antidepressants, it typically takes up to several weeks to become fully effective. Benzodiazepines, in limited circumstances, your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine for relief of anxiety symptoms. These sedatives are generally used only for relieving acute anxiety on a short-term basis. Because they can be habit-forming, these medications aren’t a good choice if you have or had problems with alcohol or drug abuse (Mayo Clinic, 2017). For both treatment options, drug interactions can be controlled when treating GAD. Antidepressants are specifically involved in pharmacokinetic interactions (Robichaud et al., 2019). Nevertheless, a patient could experience an addictive CNS depression if Buspirone and Benzodiazepines are used together and this could have an antagonistic effect on the receptors. Discussion: Comparing and Contrasting Pharmacologic Options for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
As reported at the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics in Orlando, FL in October 2017, Tiwari and colleagues showed that genetic testing for psychiatric medication significantly improved the effects of treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, and reduced the use of benzodiazepines, a short-term medication for treating anxiety. Their findings were based on data from the Individualized Medicine: Pharmacogenetic Assessment and Clinical Treatment (IMPACT) study and the MEDCO dataset (Cuncic, 2020).
Discussion: Comparing and Contrasting Pharmacologic Options for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder References